Is your marriage dissolving and you have children? Read these 4 child custody recommendations for you, then call our Stillwater lawyers today.
1) Best Interests of the Child
All divorce cases and family matters deal with children. What’s most important to the courts and to all lawyers involved is what’s in the best interest of the children, and that’s a slippery slope. Everyone looks at things differently. Everyone has their perception. One thing we can start with is this: your children will always be your children, and parents need to work together for what’s in the best interest of them. There are reasons why one person thinks the other person shouldn’t have custody – I understand that – but when it comes right down to it, both parents love their child. I tell people all the time be careful the positions you take and the battles you want to fight because you could win the battle and lose the war. I always take time with my clients, to analyze the situation with them and help them understand what their thoughts are about what their best interests are and why. I help them evaluate to make sure they’re sincere and they’re not more to punish the other parent. What it all comes down to, at the end of the day, is the court’s worried and concerned about what’s in the best of the children, and the parents should be too.
2) Can a Child Choose?
The question becomes, do you believe that the child can voice that opinion? Likewise, if they want to stay with your spouse, can the child voice that opinion? This depends. In Oklahoma, the age of preference that a child can voice their opinion which parent they want to reside with is the age of 12. At that point, the court will listen to the child’s preference, does not have to follow it, but Oklahoma law is pretty clear that it is a strong presumption that the child’s preference may be followed.
3) Shared Parenting
There’s something in Oklahoma called shared parenting, which allows the parties to have equal time; both parents, mother and father, get equal time with the kids. Oftentimes, it can be week-to-week alternating. It’ll just depend on factors specific to your case – how far apart you guys reside, what the ages of the children are, and so forth. It’s something where you have to review that situation with an experienced divorce attorney, to assess what the options are.
4) Sole Custody and Joint Custody
In Oklahoma, there are two broad categories; there’s going to be sole custody and there’s going to be joint custody. The parent receiving sole custody will have the unilateral right to make decisions that affect the child’s life, including but not limited to medical decisions for major medical procedures, educational decisions for the child or children, and extracurricular activities even can be decided unilaterally by that parent. Sole custody vets that parent with a lot of authority over the children’s lives, so it’s important to contact an experienced divorce attorney to determine whether it’s your right to receive sole custody or whether the other parent is likely to receive that.
If your marriage is dissolving and you have children, you may be wondering about these 4 child custody recommendations for you. Contact a Stillwater child custody lawyer at Murray Law Firm today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. Let our experience work for you.
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